A paper trading app simulates live market conditions, allowing you to trade risk-free. Before the introduction of electronic trading applications, paper trading often had to be done with paper—and traders had to apply strategies and cross off possible profits and losses.
Today, a paper trading app should give you access to technical tools and indicators, live charts, fundamental and technical analysis, and allow you to trade without the fear of losing your income. In this article, we explore paper trading, its nuances, improving your trading skills in a zero-loss environment, and the best paper trading applications to consider today.
Best Paper Trading App Overview
Paper trading, also called simulated trading, is a zero-risk environment that enables traders to implement trading strategies without losing real-life money.
Most brokerage websites have paper trading features that simulate the conditions of actual trading.
Paper trading is suitable for testing a theoretical strategy to see if it works. If it works, you can execute the strategy in actual trading conditions.
In paper trading, people spend virtual currencies, and currencies can be as high as $50,000. Virtual currency volume depends on the paper trading app you use.
Paper trading may not expose the true emotions that come with real trading. Yes, it mirrors market conditions; however, novice investors may take certain risks they would never take if they invested real money.
Money made in a paper trading app isn’t your money. The money does not exist. It’s virtual. However, when you trade, you should always trade as if there is a possibility of losing money.
eToro is the best paper trading app in the UK. Other notable apps include Alvexo, Skilling, and Margex.
Margex– Online Trading Platform With Excellent Security
A Closer Look At The Best Paper Trading Apps UK
eToro is a global trading app that facilitates social trading like no other. In March 2022, the trading platform celebrated 28.5 million global users. eToro operates in 140 countries and supports stocks, ETFs, and more than 60 cryptocurrency assets. eToro has held a standard for transparency and speedy execution of orders due to its innovative technology and AI.
eToro’s social trading is the helm of a trading system where beginners can learn from experienced traders and copy successful trading strategies. Professional traders earn up to 2.5% of the profits of any trader that replicates their trading strategies. eToro has a fantastic paper trading app—its copy trading feature. With eToro’s copy trade feature, you can access live market conditions with virtual funds and trade.
eToro’s paper trading app:
eToro’s demo trading account is a virtual trading account that allows would-be investors to experiment with different trading strategies and instruments. With eToro’s demo account, you can trade many commodities without putting yourself at any financial risk.
eToro’s virtual trading interface is seamless and beginner-friendly.
You can trade stocks, cryptocurrencies, indices, and ETFs. You can also conduct CFD trading.
You can also copy the trading strategies of other top traders, even with a demo account.
Get up to $100,000 in virtual currency for the experience.
Enjoy copy trading and observe how the best traders worldwide make a profit.
Demo account is free to use, and you do not have to deposit any amount.
Trade various instruments freely and access live charts and market conditions.
Access to the eToro community and eToro trading resources.
78% of accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Your money is at risk.
Alvexo trading platform offers x300 leverage; hence, opens the possibility of making incredible returns. With the leverage, if you have $20, you can stake as much as $600. But with all leverage situations, there is also the possibility of losing your investment and putting a lot at risk. The need for an intuitive paper trading app echoes for the Alvexo platform. First, Alvexo's minimum trade deposit is €500, and trading fee can get as high as 2.9pips for the minimum deposit. Second, Alvexo's AI powered demo account seamlessly integrates live market conditions and simulates instruments within the market conditions.
Trade risk-free with Alvexo demo account, and invest within live market conditions.
Enjoy a $10,000 deposit in your virtual trading account.
Alvexo paper trade includes CFDs, cryptocurrency, and stocks.
Technical analysis available even for the demo traders
Skilling is an intuitive trading platform that brokers forex, energy, crypto, metals, indices, soft commodities, shares, and ETFs. With over 900 instruments and competitive spreads, Skilling still offers beginner and advanced traders the opportunity to study the platform and trade real market simulations without any financial risks.
Like many other top brokers, Skilling's demo trader uses word class technology to ensure fast trade execution, technical indicators, and market analysis. In addition, Skilling's demo trader app allows Skilling users to trade live market conditions without the risk that comes with trading CFDs or leveraging.
Trade in simulated market conditions without the risk of losing your funds.
Skilling demo trader also helps advanced traders test trading strategies.
Users can also use Skilling's copy trader feature. Skilling allows over 1,000 trading strategies that can be copied by any user without commission or fee.
Users can also copy trade within the demo trader interface.
Easy-to-use interface and access to valuable trading resources and market analysis.
Traders ready for live market investments can enjoy from x30 to x100 and x500 leverage, depending on your trading instrument.
While Skilling demo trader is an excellent resource, Skilling’s trade limitations like its spread and all round fees and commission.
Margex is a powerful online broker that uses innovative technology to ensure seamless execution of trades even during peak market activities. Margex concern for customer wallet security is observed in its cryptocurrency storage process. 100% of customer assets are stored in offline cold wallets—and are outside the reach of hackers. Margex also institutes two-factor authentication in its sign-in process. Other security features include their bank-grade firewall and strict data privacy policies.
Margex’s user interface is friendly; however, beginner traders might not easily navigate through the web trader’s full features. Margex’s demo trader is a mirror or a simulation of the platform’s real-life market conditions and trade systems. You get a system where you can learn the complexities of crypto futures trading, margin trading, and short trading, amongst other strategies, without investing or risking your money.
Margex offers virtual funds to facilitate its virtual trading platform.
$50 sign-up bonus to cover trading fees. The $50 is deposited into your account even if you use Margex’s paper trading app.
Copy trader works well with web trader and on mobile (Android and iOS)
Copy trader user interface is easy to navigate and has all the features of live market conditions.
Trading CFDs involves a significant risk of loss that may not be suitable for all investors.
How To Paper Trade With eToro
eToro paper trading app not only allows you to trade risk-free in live market conditions, but you can also copy trade other trading strategies. eToro is also excellent for paper trading crypto and one of the best day trading app in the market. However, before using the platform’s demo account, you must sign up and verify your account.
Sign up for an account
Signing up only takes three minutes. Before signing up, make sure you check out all eToro requirements for new members:
Make sure you are at least 18 years old and have a valid government-issued ID card that reflects your date of birth.
You must live within a country where eToro operates.
Provide a valid email address and phone number that can be used for verification.
Now that you have all these, it’s time to open an account.
Visit eToro’s website and click ‘Create Account.’
Enter your username, email, and password.
Use a strong password (preferably a mix of upper and lower case letter, numbers, and symbols.
Check the terms and condition box.
Click the Create Account button, and voila, you have created a new eToro account.
Verify your account by clicking the verification button or link in your email. You should receive an email verification link in a minute. If you do not, check your spam folder.
Once you sign up, you have to complete your eToro profile. You can skip the profile completion step and go back later. If you do not want to skip the step, click ‘Complete Profile’ and then fill in your personal information, including your address, place of birth, city, zip code, and country. All information provided herein must match the information on your ID card.
Start your Investment Knowledge Assessment and verify your phone number.
To verify your ID, submit a government-issued ID card. Please follow these instrcutions when submitting an ID:
Do not crop your ID. Make sure all four borders show.
Do not edit or distort your ID electronically. eToro reserves the right to suspend your account if they suspect foul play.
Only your passport or a government-issued ID is accepted, and you must show the back and front of the ID.
For your proof of address, a bank statement, council tax or municipality bill, national ID, state ID, bank statement, electricity/water/gas/telephone/internet bill, or credit card statement would do.
To deposit funds into your eToro account, click Deposit Funds once you are on eToro’s dashboard, and select the currency and the amount you want to deposit. Next, choose your most convenient payment method, and click ‘Deposit.’ eToro does not accept all currencies, so if your currency isn’t accepted, you may incur a conversion fee from your bank.
Switch to Demo Account
Before switching to a demo account, you must first create a demo account. Follow these steps:
Log in and select virtual portfolio. If you do not have an account, sign up.
The new window will take you to your demo account with $100,000 automatically deposited.
If you want to switch from a live account to a demo account, click on the Real/Virtual menu below your username.
Note: eToro does not charge trading fees or commissions on any trade you make on your virtual account. Virtual account balances are non-transferable.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
What Is Paper Trade?
Before the advent of digital brokers and online trading platforms, traders practiced on paper—hence the name paper trade. Investors of old had to record all trades by hand and keep track of the movement of prices of assets or instruments they were trading. Today, we have simulators for stock markets, shares, commodities, forex, and cryptocurrencies. These simulators mirror live markets and offer live charts and technical indicators.
Technically, there is no profit or loss in paper trading; however, an investor must pretend to be under live market conditions.
Paper trading is great—that's why almost all online brokers integrate them; however, it also has its fallbacks.
For paper trading to make sense, investors must trade within similar conditions. If you can only afford $500 to trade shares in company XYZ, don’t paper trade with $5,000.
Paper trading is like video game simulators where you can earn lots of money—only this time, the money isn't yours, and you can buy anything with it.
To paper trade and become a better investor, always follow these three rules:
Be realistic with your trade: Yes, you can have $100,000 in your virtual wallet, but come on, you probably don't have those funds in real life. $300 might be more appropriate. Whatever you do, don't overstock your funds or paper trading turns into a game.
Stimulate real emotion: You won't cry if you lose $300 worth of virtual money and have an extra $40k in your account. Imagine losing $300 in real life. Imagine losing your life savings. Trading comes with heaps of emotions, and the best traders have often learnt to contain their emotions. You might not be trading in real market conditions, but you should pretend to be.
Don't stay too long: Stay too long, and it quickly becomes a game. In fact, you can have a demo trading account and a real account. Use the demo trading to practice strategies as you grow, and then trade with the risks on your real account.
As said earlier, set a realistic balance. Set a balance that reflects your present financial situation. When you set a balance, set a goal. Why do you want to trade? Do you want to use the last $200 with you to make $1000 to cover a debt? Do you want stock trading or trade ETFs, indices, currencies, or cryptocurrencies? When you ask these questions, you set yourself into a pattern that looks like the real thing. Greed and fear come to play, and then you can trade on the demo account.
Conduct research and analysis
This is perhaps the most important part of paper trading. Again, paper trading isn’t a game . It’s a program meant to aid your journey through investment. Research and analysis are dependent on many factors:
The instrument you are trading
Your trading goals and ambitions
Let’s explore both factors.
Trading stocks and ETFs is different from trading automated crypto trading. Certainly, there are similarities, but trading strategies and risks differ. Every instrument has a unique market, and a market is determined by past factors like performance, liquidity, and present factors. You also need to consider technical and fundamental analysis, as they pertain to the instrument. For the sake of this guide, let's use cryptocurrencies. Your research must answer the ‘what and why.’
Before you pick crypto or token, you must answer two questions.
What crypto asset do you want to trade right now, and why?
Let’s say you picked MANA: Why did you pick this token? Do you think its current price is a discount because of the 2022 crypto winter? Are you investing for the long term or short term and think the price of SAND will climb back to its 2021 all-time high? When you select an asset, you must run an intensive fundamental analysis on it to determine if it's the right asset for your trading needs. If you are a day trader with very few funds, you might pick an asset with high volatility, open and close positions quickly, and set order types that will limit your loss.
The purpose of a paper trading app is to help you test out trading strategies. If one works, check out why replicate it under the same conditions, and learn. If you lose, learn, and find out what happened. When testing strategies, you must take detailed notes of your trading, spot patterns, and understand why you take certain risks.
Create a risk management strategy
Most online trading platforms are required to reveal their gain/loss ratio. It’s no news that most people who trade CFDs lose their money. The loss value can be as high as 80%. The 80:20 rule also applies in investment. Around 20% of investors make 80% of the profit. It’s important to create a risk-management strategy from the get-go.
But people may ask, 'Isn't the essence of investing to make a profit?' Yes, you invest for a positive ROI; however, stock, forex, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and other instruments are generally unpredictable. Even if you conduct a thorough fundamental and technical analysis of an instrument, it might surprise you and go in the opposite direction of your bet. That's why it's important to set a risk-management strategy even if you are just demo trading. The habits you grow in your paper trading period often follow you into real trading.
When creating a risk-management strategy, follow up with these:
Set your entry and exit point:
Entry and exit points guide you against the two biggest emotions that fuel most investment-losing trading strategies: fear and greed. There is only so much you can make. Close your position when you have reached your target. Even if you push, check your previous strategy. If you foresaw a price reaching $8 and it reached $15, there has to be a reason it happened. Don't just assume you are great at predicting the prices of assets. Who tweeted? Perhaps Elon Musk said something? Does the instrument have new features? Is there a sudden rise in demand? What's the liquidity of the asset? When you ask the right questions, you get the right answers and know when to get out. Stop loss orders also protect you when your predictions are wrong. The good news is that you can automate stop loss orders, limits, and market orders even on your practice trading account.
Determine what you stand to lose and gain if you invest in an instrument. What's the risk of Bitcoin trading? Check the price patterns. More importantly, what's your risk appetite?
Take your time
Again, take your time when paper trading. Read as many resources as you can. However, it's also important not to spend too much time on paper trading.
Pretend that it’s your real money at risk!
And again, you must pretend that it’s your money at risk. When you trade with your money, it’s a lot of emotions. Try and mirror those emotions when paper trading.
Best Paper Trading App UK- Our Conclusion
The best paper trading app UK, certainly is eToro. When choosing a paper trading app, you must look beyond the demo account and find the best features of the app. eToro is the world's largest social trading platform, and offers competitive leverage of up to x30, excellent spreads, and provides secure asset saving mechanism. eToro also has a minimum $20 deposit, and an endless resource of data, market analysis, technical indicators, training materials, and allows copy trading for both live and demo accounts.
There are many online brokers and apps where you can paper trade in the UK. The instrument of trade may differ from app to app. For example, suppose you want to paper trade cryptocurrencies. In that case, you can use the eToro trading app. eToro allows trading of other instruments like ETFs, stocks, indices, currencies, stocks, and commodities and is approved for operations in the UK and Europe with FCA and CySec. Other paper trading apps, Margex, Alvexo and Skilling are also licensed to operate in the UK.
Are paper trading accounts free?
Yes, paper trading accounts are free. You also get free virtual accounts and no commission or trading fees. You should also note that there aren't liquidity issues in paper trading, and you can buy and sell at the price you want. However, in real-life situations, you do not always get the instruments you wish to, and there can be liquidity issues that can drive the price of a commodity up or down.
What is the best app for paper trading?
eToro is the best app for paper trading.
Is paper trading legal in the UK?
Yes, paper trading is absolutely legal in the United Kingdom. Make sure you use a trader licensed to operate in the UK jurisdiction.
Do I need to fund my trading account to use the demo account?
It depends on the trading platform you use. With the eToro trading platform, you don’t necessarily have to deposit before you use the demo account. The same can be said for most major online brokers like Skilling, and Margex. Even if you had to make a deposit, use a platform that requests small deposits between $5 and $20.
Kemi is a research writer and editor, and she explores news features on tech topics from blockchain to NFT, architectural rendering, metaverse, cryptocurrency, and home automation. When she isn't reading or writing, she spends time with her family.